Screenwriting tips, software, online scripts, recommends, where to submit...?

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dropsofjup2

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Sorry, I'm just rushing into this but, will anyone tell me to be a successful scriptwriter of power and influence must one live in LA for example or can this be done remotely?
 

raiboy

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Just wanted to give a shout out to Script Wizard an add on for MS Word. It was less than $100 and very helpful.
Me
 

Mumut

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I just want to tell everyone how much I enjoyed Lorelei's website (http://www.kullervo.com/Screenwriting.html). It's full of practical info, very condensed, and always to the poing. And the most fun is her sarcasm that I just loved. I think, the wannabe writers should read every single word in it in odred to understand the craft, the business, and many aspects of screenwriting. Along with all other sites mentioned before, of course.
Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'm going through all the screenwriting sites, stickies and posts. I've just finished turning the first of my published books into a screen version and now I'm polishing it. I've used Celtx, so the format and font should be correct - that saves a lot of worries. The book is selling well in Australia and will be published in Canada at the end of April next year, so I hope to have the screen version ready to look for an agent when the book is first on the shelves. So Lorelei's advice is very much appreciated.
Thanks again, Monaco.
 

priggy

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I would also suggest you go to bbc writersroom for tv scripts.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/ins..._archive.shtml

Also there are quite a few Dr Who scripts online as well at http://www.thewriterstale.com/scr.html

I would recommend buying the book the Writer's Tale if you can by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook. It is a year in the life of Davies, head writer on Doctor Who and the process that he goes through to get the finished show. Its a really useful tool.
 

Winfred

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Finding actual Spec Scripts to read

"You've never read any screenplays before? Stop right there. Go here or here. Read 100 scripts and see how the written words translated into the movies you loved (or hated)."

Hi! I just quoted the basic instructions at the top of this thread. The link goes to Scriptorama which is a very nice site and scripts are free, but.... The problem for me is that I write spec scripts, the basic script that is submitted to agents, producers, etc. that is the basic script that is very first considered by anyone in the film industry. I've looked at two free script sites and find a lot of other types of scripts like a "Shooting Script" where there are the more detailed instructions and format looks different than Spec Scripts.

What I really need to see are scripts in the standard industry format of Spec Scripts, like my Final Draft software creates. It's then I can read scripts plus get a sense of how they look, and in what situations to use like "Series of Shots" and what that looks like i.e. do you use a dash with every shot in the series or a "bullet". One person tells me one thing and another tells me the other. If I read enough scripts at the same level as the basic scripts most of us write, then I'll eventually after reading dozens of scripts get the best sense of what is best as the films they post at these sites are the of course successful films, like, "Catch Me if You Can" that I was hoping to read but found it to be a Shooting Script that a director uses. I notice there are a lot of other types of scripts that I've never heard of posted for download too that really doesn't do me as much good. Where can one go to find specifically the type of script format I am looking for? Thanks!
 

Filmfeline

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I just want to add that most screenplays available are SHOOTING scripts. Which has more added than a spec would. When you write yours you can leave out things like camera directions or scene numbers. If you get the screenwriters bible I think that is best place to start. Just looking at a script isn't going to teach you to write them. They're not all the same. Also film is in 3 act format, TV is in 8. There's lots to read up on.
 

Sunburn

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Should you register your screenplay with the WGA before looking for a studio? Or does registering the screenplay to the WGA increase the odds of the movie being made?
 

bluntforcetrauma

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I've noticed a glitch in CeltX. When I use Typeset/PDF function, pages two and three are a the cast of characters. That's a waste of two pages I don't need period. Is this normal, as it's only been occurring over the last couple months.
 

ShannonR.

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Should you register your screenplay with the WGA before looking for a studio? Or does registering the screenplay to the WGA increase the odds of the movie being made?

That's what I was wondering too, and if we need to do this *as well as* copyrighting, or when we should copyright at all.

I use celtx and love it. It might not be as fancy as other software, but it's what I can afford (IOW, free)!
 

Screenwriting

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Production companies, agents, and managers who accept unsolicited queries from unknown writers

The following are intended as potential sources of lists of production companies, agents, and managers -- the people to whom queries should be sent. Some offer free services, most charge for subscriptions. By listing them here I am not endorsing any of these services; you should assess each and make your own decisions. Nor are they listed in any particular order of priority or preference. Nor is the list in any way complete, it's just the handful of services I've read about. Feel free to recommend any corrections or additions, or to add your own contacts and preferences to this thread.

Hollywood Creative Directory offers a 1-week trial for something like $25.00
IMDbPro offers a free 14-day trial, scroll to the bottom of the IMDb front page, select the Free Trial option.
Done Deal offers a list of agents and a fistful of helpful articles, and its paying cousin Done Deal Pro continues to build up a useful current list of agents and prodcos. (Note, changes are scheduled, see the DoneDealPro site for details.)
InkTip.com continues to have success with its members being discovered by producers looking for scripts online, as well as posting your screenplay on their site you can subscribe to the weekly "scripts wanted" preferred newsletter. Visit out Inktip Super Thread for opinions and reviews.
ScriptPIMP offers the option to email prodcos, agents & managers directly after searching for specific criteria on their database.
HollywoodLitSales invites prodcos to place ads on their "Scripts Wanted/Jobs" list. Worth a look now and again just in case you find a match! (Access is free at time of writing.)
MovieBytes.com also invites prodcos to place ads on their "Writers Wanted" list. Also offers a subscription service, "Who's Buying What?" Check out the site for more details.

Note that lists of current and upcoming Screenwriting Contests plus "report cards" from previous contests can also be found on www.moviebytes.com

-Derek

Derek,
I humbly request that you include the following information:
I have published an e-book listing 220+ producers, agents, and managers who accept queries (and in a very few cases, creative content) from unknown writers. It is for sale, so this post admittedly hopes to lure people to buy. This e-book is the only resource of its kind. My researchers and I took the time and effort to actually check every one of the listings in this e-book.

One of the references you cite, the Hollywood Creative Directory online, no longer exists. In fact, it was one of the sources I used to obtain information on producers, agents, and managers who accept unsolicited queries. One used to be able to search for them in HCD Online. Alas, it's gone.

Information on my book is available at http://screenwritingcommunity.net. The list price for this 300+-page e-book (PDF) is $19.95, temporarily reduced (09/2012) to $17.95 -- which is less than HCD used to charge for a month.
 

dpaterso

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Thanks for the tip, links updated... no problem with you posting in this thread, it's all good info for aspiring screenwriters looking for direction.

-Derek
 

BlueCat

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Movie Title Advice from BlueCat!

http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/articles/naming-your-baby-how-to-find-a-great-title-to-your-screenplay/
Naming Your Baby: How to Find a Great Title to your Screenplay


How exactly does one work on the title of their screenplay? I recently came up with such a wonderful idea for a movie, one of those miraculous moments, like finding money on the sidewalk. I told somebody, and they said, “Great. What’s the title?” Suddenly, and rather horrifyingly, my beauty of an idea is crippled. Instant orphaned bastard! You wanna strangle the person. You feel insulted. What’s the title!? Why would you even ask that, like, right after I told you this incredible gem?

Well, of course they would ask that. Every movie needs a name. But unlike nearly every other aspect of screenwriting, there are no techniques to titling your script. We can practice the three act structure, workshop our dialogue, check the arcs of our characters, but what craft is there to naming your movie?

The first movie I wrote that was made was entitled LOVE LIZA. The movie was about a man whose wife has committed suicide. She has left him a note, and the movie is the story of his struggle to open this letter and read her final words. I remember finding this title fairly quickly, the name clearly referencing an element of the letter left behind. But what I found to be most interesting about this title was the lack of punctuation—-the title wasn’t LOVE, LIZA. When the press kits started to be put together, I had to keep reminding everyone there was no comma between LOVE and LIZA. The comma-less title takes on a different meaning in the context of the movie. I was lucky to find a title that meant one thing before you watched the movie, and meant something else after you’re done.

Sometimes titles come long before the screenplay has even started. I have come up with great titles that have no idea at all behind them. They function as stakes in the ground. I got so angry with someone for complaining about the shoes I was wearing that I vowed to write a movie called WRONG SHOES. Soon after, I came up with an idea of a girl taking her video camera to her cousin’s bachelorette party, and starting casting, with an intention to write, develop and workshop the screenplay, WRONG SHOES, with the cast. Once we got into the second draft of the screenplay, the title, WRONG SHOES, didn’t fit the tone of the story, and we found another, and renamed the movie, A COAT OF SNOW. This title strikes people a myriad of ways, and even after watching the movie, the audience is left to fit its significance.
So how do you get a great title to your screenplay? Well, the first thing you gotta do to find the great movie title is write a screenplay. You can find a great title before you write a screenplay, but then you don’t really have a title problem, you have a missing screenplay problem. I asked a flight attendant once what the snack they just handed me tasted like and they said, “Plane food.” I loved that. I thought, that would be a great title for a movie. Who knows what the story is, but there it is, a great title. But no script.

Let’s say you have an idea, you have your outline, or your scribbling on napkins, polaroids, whatever, and you’re ready to start writing. Do you need a title right now? Of course not and why not. If it’s gonna distract you and make you miserable and pull your focus, you should definitely not worry about a title at all. The reason it’s distracting you is because the writing of your screenplay is making you uncomfortable. So if you’re fretting about what to call your movie before you’ve started writing, you don’t have a problem with a missing title, you have a writing problem.

If you’re ready to sit down and start writing, and picking a title isn’t gonna make you crazy, go ahead and make one up. Writing a screenplay is a long, hard path, and putting a name on your work is good. What do you call the name of your labor? It’s called a working title. Working titles, like WRONG SHOES, get you working on your screenplay. Working titles often get swept away later by a much richer name. Working titles allow you to function, reminding us that everything we put down on paper is not final. I often wait to work and become immobilized by wanting something to be perfect RIGHT NOW. It doesn’t work that way. Creation is mysterious, and like great endings, titles come to us on the road to something else. Working titles function as a lamp to that road. We are in play.

Let’s say you’re done with your draft and your title still doesn’t feel right. It’s been your working title for a while now, and it’s worked, but you know there’s something missing, and you need the real one. Well, if you’re thinking about a good title and you don’t have a good title, then your screenplay needs a lot of work. It’s time to let it sit for three weeks, then give yourself another raft of notes. You can drive around in your car and think about how your movie ends, or what it’s called, and you might think a light bulb goes off, and you’ve got the great title, but it’s only a sign of discomfort with story.

I write something now and don’t know what it’s called, but I have a working title, which doesn’t work so much, so I often call it “my next movie.” I know the absence of a good idea forces me forward to the greatness that lies ahead. I know from my experience that my fumbling in the dark for everything, story, title, ending, line, is the hard, true and honest work of real writing. How can I sit through this? I want to know what my title is, and I want it to be magnificent. In the end, it’s called patience.


Don’t forget to enter the BlueCat Screenplay Competition by August 1st to be eligible for our Movie Title Contest: http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com/movie-title-contest/
 
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Kevin_C_Vang

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Try submitting it here:


The Nicholl's fellowship is a mini-version of an Oscar-winning prize for young students and old folks. Try it!
 

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